FOSTERING CRITICAL THINKING AND RESPECT THROUGH SOCRATIC SEMINARS (A Case Study of Bridging Program in the International Program of the Faculty of Economics, Universitas Islam Indonesia)

Willy Prasetya


This study was conducted to find out how Socratic seminars can foster critical thinking and respect among students. Socratic seminar in this study is a student-centered activity in which students independently discuss a theme assigned by their teacher. Since teacher‘s role is minimal in this activity, students must be able to manage the discussion by asking a new question when a previously asked question has been completely answered and giving a chance for students who have not contributed to the discussion. Through the process of asking and answering questions, students can reflect on their understanding and perspectives on the assigned themes. In addition, by having conflicting opinions and thoughts, students can learn how to deal with differences and thus foster their respect toward others. The participants were 15 students of bridging program class conducted by the International Program of Universitas Islam Indonesia. They participated in a series of Socratic seminars in which they were required to read assigned texts, prepare questions, and be actively involved in the seminars. The data were collected through observation, open-ended questionnaire, and semi-structured interview. The findings suggest that Socratic seminars help students improve their critical thinking, strategies to deal with different opinions and thoughts, and willingness to participate in classroom activities.


Socratic seminar, critical thinking, respect, Bridging Program

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